Juniper, Polycom to test Cisco/Tandberg

Companies claim they were plotting video union before Cisco acquisition

The timing only made it seem that way. Juniper and Polycom were already hatching their deepened partnership when Cisco announced intentions to acquire Polycom rival Tandberg. 

So say Juniper and Polycom officials when asked the obligatory response to Cisco/Tandberg question during last week's briefing. But it might not matter: visual communications is expected to explode as we all know. Ask that kid over there with a camera phone that can instantly upload to YouTube. Juniper and Polycom say it will grow at a compounded annual rate of almost 18% in the next three years to $8.6 billion. So there might be some pie for everyone. 

But how much? Cisco has a 3 year headstart on Juniper and Siemens Enterprise Networks and IBM - other Polycom partners - when it comes to offering room size telepresence to businesses. With Tandberg, they now have leadership at the low-end. And they have the market share in enterprise and service provider to support claims that a single Cisco end-to-end network delivers premium video/telepresence quality and experience. 

Multivendor offerings stitched together with standards may not cut it for the seamlessness that video requires, suggests Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group: 

"If you own (the network) end-to-end you can control the quality end-to-end - you don't have to wait for standards to be developed, you just go do it yourself." 

The integrated Juniper/Polycom products will be available to service providers in mid-2010. They will include the Trio-based MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers Juniper announced last fall.

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